What would Israel look like under a Ron Paul Presidency? (Part 1)

While we can never know for sure, as that is the nature of conjecture, it is an interesting thought experiment to imagine what the State of Israel would look like if Ron Paul were elected president of the United States. Though this may seem like a longshot as Paul is pulling up the rear in the popular vote in the Republican Party primaries, he is actually second in the Convention delegate count behind Romney, which is what actually counts when push comes to shove comes to being nominated.

Assuming that no one candidate secures a 1,144 majority of delegates needed at the convention this August, a brokered convention could mean that Ron Paul has a reasonable though slim chance of becoming the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States.

In this thought experiment, we will go back in time to Israel’s founding in 1948 and imagine how Israel would have developed under a Ron Paul presidency at each turning point, up to the current Iran nuclear issue, using Paul’s own foreign policy statements and philosophy as a guide.

1948 – The State of Israel is Founded

What actually happened: There is a global weapons embargo against the nascent Jewish State. Harry Truman, acting as President, recognizes the State of Israel and opens an embassy in Tel Aviv, not wanting to "rock the boat" by opening it in Jerusalem.

What may have happened if Ron Paul were president at the time:

President Ron Paul (13 at the time) gets a call from David Ben Gurion, asking for recognition. As a strict Constitutionalist, Paul feels he does not have the Constitutional authority as president to either recognize or not recognize any given sovereign entity. So he takes the issue to Congress. The US Congress, in a near unanimous vote, recognizes the State of Israel. (Congress further decides whether to maintain the weapons embargo on Israel. President Paul stays out of the debate.) President Paul opens dialogue, free trade, and an embassy in the new State of Israel’s capital.

“Where is your capital city?” asks President Paul.

“Jerusalem of course, as it has always been,” says Ben Gurion.

“OK, we’ll open an embassy there,” says the President.

1956 – The Sinai Campaign

What actually happened: Trying to fend off attacks by the Egyptian military against Israeli interests and personnel, the IDF invades the Sinai Peninsula on a search and destroy mission against Egyptian military targets. Israel is allied with France in this operation, obtaining weapons and fighter planes from the French. Fearing a spike in oil prices, then President Dwight D. Eisenhower intervenes and threatens to bomb IDF positions if Israel does not withdraw from the Sinai immediately. The war ends in a stalemate, allowing Egypt to rebuild their military for future escalations.

What may have happened if Ron Paul were president at the time:

The IDF invades the Sinai on a search and destroy mission against Egyptian military targets. President Ron Paul reads about it in the newspaper and does nothing. He is a noninterventionist. The phone rings in the Oval Office. President Paul answers. It’s Ben Gurion.

“Good morning Mr. President. How much for 50,000 grenades and 3 B-52 bombers? It could really help the war effort here.” asks Ben Gurion.

“I have nothing to do with this. Go ask Congress and see if they’ll sell them to you. If they do, I'll sign off and send them.”

While Congress is busy deciding what to do, Israel keeps purchasing the weapons it needs from France, and goes on to win the Sinai campaign and destroy the Egyptian military.

1967 – The Six Day War

What actually happened: Pressured by the US-led UN Security Council not to do anything and sit tight, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol nervously bites his nails and IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin has a nervous breakdown trying to figure out what to do while Egypt blocks the Straits of Tiran and Jordan and Syria gear up for an invasion of Israel. President Lyndon B. Johnson tells Eshkol to stay calm and do nothing while Johnson goes golfing. Eshkol finally decides to launch a preemptive surprise attack and destroys the Egyptian Air Force in an hour. As the fighting continues, Aba Eban continually tries to fend off diplomatic pressure to stop the massacre against the Arabs. He succeeds for 6 days, giving Israel enough time to conquer Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Sinai, and the Golan Heights. The UN demands a ceasefire. Israel is forced to stop fighting just before she takes the Suez, allowing the Egyptian army to rebuild through that corridor via USSR help.

The US begins giving Israel foreign aid money.

What may have happened if Ron Paul were president at the time:

The US, under Ron Paul’s executive order, withdrew from the UN years before, as UN mandates cannot trump the US Constitution and Paul opposes all entangling alliances, preferring to be friends with all and staying out of fights. Israel, seeing that she has no ally in the UN, withdraws just as well and expels all UN personnel from Israeli territory, seeing their presence as an affront to Israeli sovereignty over her own land. The Sinai is already conquered from back in 1956, but Egypt tries to block the Straits of Tiran anyway in a show of belligerence. With the UN impotent as America has cut off funding and withdrawn years before, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol immediately decides to attack, ordering Yitzhak Rabin to begin bombarding whatever remains of the Egyptian army. The UN insists that Israel stop fighting. In response, Israel says that any attempt by the UN to interfere will have it considered as an enemy combatant in Israel’s eyes and subject to attack by the IDF.

Somewhere in the Oval Office, Ron Paul hears about all this from his Chief of Staff and yawns. “I hope it stops soon, let me know when it’s over. Did Congress finish the audit of the Federal Reserve yet?” he asks.

Israel takes the Suez, the Jordan River, and Damascus. Arab military forces and civilians flee in fear.

The US doesn’t give Israel any foreign aid money in response to their victory, as President Paul considers that unconstitutional.

(For Part Two of this article, click here.)